Each January, we ask that you stop for a moment and think: what would our backyards, local parks or favorite hiking trails be like without birds? Birds add so much to our lives: their presence tells us whether our ecosystems are healthy; their calls add music to our world; their gift of flight is the ultimate symbol of freedom! Why don’t we think of birds more often?

National Bird Day is an annual event established by Born Free USA and the Avian Welfare Coalition to raise awareness about the lives of birds in captivity and in the wild. Here are some things we’re asking you to consider.

  • Should birds be kept in cages, when their bodies are specifically designed for flight?
  • Why is it “ok” to keep some birds as pets, but not others? Are they really that different?
  •  If wild birds live in groups or flocks, why are most captive birds kept as solitary pets? What happens when we force a highly social animal to spend the majority of her time alone?
  • We may be accustomed to seeing a pet bird living alone in a cage, but is this practice humane?

Each year, millions of birds are captured from the wild or produced in captivity, only to lead miserable lives languishing in conditions that fail to meet their instinctive behavioral and physical needs. In addition, exotic bird sanctuaries across the United States are overwhelmed with hundreds of unwanted and abused captive birds in need of rescue and life-long care.
National Bird Day is an important vehicle for educating the public about the plight of the world’s birds both in captivity and in the wild. It also encourages the public to appreciate our own native birds as well as the birds of other nations and to commit to protecting all birds against cruelty and extinction.